I've done this hike four times in each season and winter is my favorite. The isolation of the North Cascades, the rugged 8,000 ft. peaks and the cabin at the top make this one of my favorite hikes in Washington. The winter route is pretty steep for the first few thousand feet, but it avoids the avalanche prone summer route. Basically it follows the ridge all the way up almost impossible to get lost on the ascent, but on the descent it's easy to diverge from the ridge and end up in some pretty steep terrain. So watch your gps track on the way down.
Head to Marblemount and take Cascade River Road to Sibley Creek Hidden Lake trail on the left hand side after a few miles. The winter route starts a few hundred feet below the summer trail head. There isn't any sign so you'll have to watch your GPS for the start of the winter route.
The GPS track is for the winter route and starts 2 miles from the trail head. There was so much snow that year we had to park our car 2 miles from the start of the trail. I wouldn't recommend the winter route during the summer do to significant bushwhacking.
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